Day 28 – January Daily Blog Posting Month
Today is Bell Let’s Talk day. It is a yearly campaign to raise awareness and money for mental health initiatives. Last year, over $5 million dollars was raised.
I’ve been honest here about my struggles with depression and postpartum depression after the birth of my first child. It was a very dark time for me, one that should have been a happy time. For the rest of my life, I will remember my first maternity leave, not because I was ecstatic to have my little girl, but because I struggled daily to get out of bed and be happy she was here.
I got better when I finally admitted there was something wrong. I went through 16 weeks of intense, weekly Interpersonal Therapy and learned a lot about myself as a mother, as a wife, as a physician, as a woman.
In a lot of ways, experiencing PPD was a good thing; for one, it made me a better family doctor. It allowed me to empathize with the moms in my practice and to recognize the early signs of depression, especially in the postpartum period.
Mental illness is rampant in our society and the stigma is only slowly being lifted. I hope that more days like today and stories like mine help ease it just a little bit.